Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 2 September 2013

A search for migrants but no Shrike.

Bright and cool at dawn but with increasing warmth.
Moderate to Fresh SW wind.
The wind direction today was not conducive to significant migrant passage, however, given recent finds I thought it likely that previously arrived birds will be found before conditions change to allow continuation of migration.
Bodney was the place to be this morning, however, evidence of light passage at sunrise was noted over Great Cressingham:
Wheatear 02/09/13 Bodney (One of 2 birds). Poor, over-exposed record shot.
1 Hobby
Golden Plover
1 Little Owl
1 Yellow Wagtail (passage Gt Cressingham)
3 Whinchat
2 Wheatear
Great Cressingham
A dog walk at dawn produced a calling Little Owl along Priory Road, further along on the Peddars Way, farm machinery put up a mixed flock of Lapwings and Golden Plover.
Evidence of passage heard with an overhead calling Yellow Wagtail.

An early morning walk to Bodney was in order to check for signs of Shrike species following yesterdays discovery of an impaled beetle on barbed wire, however, there was no sign of Shrike species. The beetle had not been touched.
An initial check of rolling grassland habitat produced 2 Wheatear, these birds had a liking for the bronze age tumuli where this species has bred in recent years.  Given the habitat here it is likely breeding also occured here this year.  Old Rabbit burrows which provide nesting sites for Wheatear saw these two birds often frequenting one on this site.
A check for migrants along weed-lined ditches and flood-plain was rewarding with 3 Whinchats on fencing. these birds often flew down to the ground for prey and at times spent some time searching for food but they were always close to the cover by the ditch.

Hobby near Watering Farm, Thompson.
A walk around a recently cleared area of pine forest mid-afternoon saw good numbers of Dragonfly species, the most numerous appearing to be the Emperor..
The highlight of this visit was a single Hobby which was seen hunting insects above woodland, it clear the bird was feeding as the legs were held from the body and the head reached under the body so that food could be passed to the bill.  Minutes later whilst sitting on the edge of the clearing, the same, or another Hobby was seen flying at great speed at a couple of feet above the ground before passing by quite close to me.  I am sure that the Hobby was intent on hunting dragonflies given their relative abundance at this locality.

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